We are only a few days away from one of the biggest sporting events of 2015; The Rugby World Cup, being staged right here in England. The tournament sees England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales all in action along with 16 other countries all trying to win the greatest prize within their sport.
Hopes are high amongst the English fans that they can triumph on home soil, and lift the cup they held in 2003, in what was English rugby’s greatest moment.
If they are to do this however they will have to come through a tough pool that includes Australia, Wales, Fiji, and Uruguay. Scotland meanwhile are pooled with South Africa, Samoa, Japan, and the USA, and Ireland are matched against France, Italy, Canada, and Romania. There will be some relief however that none of the home nations have drawn the reigning Champions New Zealand, as the final pool features them, Argentina, Tonga, Georgia, and Namibia.
As mentioned the last tournament held in 2011 was won by (the host nation – take note England) the All Blacks, who defeated France 8-7 in the lowest scoring final of all time.
As well as New Zealand and England, South Africa, and Australia are the only 2 other countries to lift the legendary Webb Ellis Cup.
You might be surprised to learn that this will actually be only the 8th ever World Cup, and the first only being held solely in England (as the 1991 tournament over the former 5 Nations countries).
The event gets underway on 18th September, and runs until the 31st October, and will be played around 13 stadiums throughout the country, including Newcastle which features games including Scotland taking on South Africa and Samoa, and New Zealand taking on Tonga, and Leicester which sees Argentina take on Tonga and Namibia, and Canada take on Romania.
An estimated 2.2 million fans are expected to attend the 48 matches making this the most attended tournament ever, with only the Football World Cups delivering more paid attendances.
Every match will be shown live on one of the ITV channels.
To find out more information please visit the Rugby World Cup page here.